Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bye Bye Dick

August 9th, 1974 - 34 years ago today - history was made by this man.

He became the first American president in history to resign his office in shame and infamy.

I wonder what it is about August.

Friday, August 8, 2008

John Edwards

I never trusted John Edwards.

There was something smarmy about the way he looked.

When he denied the reports from, say it, the National Enqirer . . I wanted to believe him. But I didn't.

There was something about the way he looked. The way his eyebrows raised and his eyes slanted. His hair. Way too perfect.

So I believed the tabloid reports, in spite of Edwards' angry denials.

And today, it came true.

Now Edwards says the baby isn't his. He says he didn't pay the woman off.

But those denials are coming in the wake of his other denials. And there are already reports coming out that seem to deny the truth in both of them.

John Edwards. Just another in a long line of sleazy politicians who think . . as he himself said . . that they are "special", and above it all.

When will they learn?

When will we learn?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Close and closer

The yellow roses are for Meggie, who said they're her favorite.

The big red hibiscus is for me.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Roses and reverie

I'm sorry.

I just can't stop photographing SWMBO's roses.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Dollmaker

We had a wonderful visit this afternoon from a very talented lady: The Princess.

Well, she's not really a princess but she does have an amazing talent. Mary Ellen Frank, living in Juneau, Alaska, has become a highly acclaimed dollmaker. She takes as her inspiration the Native Americans who live in her state. The doll's faces are carved from wood and animal fur is used to make the clothing.

By the way, that's the BRD holding one of Mary Ellen's creations and ME sits in the background.

This is another amazing creation by Mary Ellen.

She had just attended and demonstrated her art of making leather faces and hands at the annual conference of the National Institute of American Doll Artists in Las Vegas, Nevada.

She had come to Prescott to visit a mutual friend and took a few hours to visit us today.

It was a pleasure, Princess!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rain, rain, rain

The monsoon hit our town today. This is taken from the front of our house at the height of the rainfall.

The pictures are larger and more effective if you click on them.

Heavy rain in a short time in the desert does not just soak into the earth.

Through the front gateway you can see our front yard flooding.

This is the drainage ditch in front of the house.

Too much water for the culverts under our driveway.

Our home is lucky. It sits up at street level. Our neighbor's house is lower and we worried that they might have water inside.

Additional run-off ran down one side of our house where it was blocked by leaf debris from exiting under our back fence.

The run-off was diverted alongside our back fence.

Until I got out there in the rain with a fork hoe and cleared the debris so the water could exit.

We love it when it rains here. SWMBO pretended to be worried but I loved it.

It was fun!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Oh, relax, willya?

Yes, my blog was blocked last night also. As were many others. But it was not . . . as some of my friends have written . . . a monstrous, evil plot against bloggers. It was just one of those damnable technical glitches that happen from time to time.

To make things worse, this morning my Internet Service Provider was defunct. So I couldn't receive e-mail, bring up the Internet(s), or even get the ISP offices on the telephone. Busy, busy, busy.

So I went to the grocery store and spent some money. When I returned, I had the Internet and e-mail again. The Internet was very slow all day but seems to be getting back to normal now.


It's just technical stuff.

As I said on a comment to one of my blogger friends a few minutes ago, it is bizarre how dependent we have all become on something that didn't exist ten years ago.

So I say "relax". Read a book. Watch an old movie on t.v. Take a nap. (I think I did all three today.) It will all be o.k. eventually. And even more than eventually, pretty darned quickly.

Reminds me of when I lived in Mexico. When a storm would blow up, the power would go off. We learned to live with candles and quiet. And it took a lot longer down there to restore our "normal" life than it does up here in the U.S. of A.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Busting into Bloom

One of our hibiscus plants on the front patio got a taste of water the other day and it responded gratefully and exhuberantly this morning. Normally we get one to three blooms a day, if any. This morning, there were nine fresh blooms on the plant! (Not all visible here.)

On closer examination, the flowers have a strange other-worldly appearance. But I've loved hibiscus blossoms ever since I first saw them in Mazatlan, Mexico, many years ago.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baseball . . . and family

Doug Davis is a pitcher for my Arizona Diamondbacks. Earlier this season, he was taken out of the lineup when it was discovered that he had thyroid cancer. After a relatively short period of treatment following successful surgery, he came back to the team. Tonight, he came close to pitching a perfect game. That's a game where no one from the other team ever reaches base, whether by a hit or a walk. Davis was perfect almost through the 7th inning. He had two outs and two strikes on a third batter when it came apart. But he eventually won the game after a miraculous catch in the deep outfield by a rookie, Alex Romero, on a hit that would have tied or won the game. A great night of baseball.

My brother turns 75 tomorrow. I talked to him on the telephone this evening. He says he doesn't think much about this milestone but I think he will spend some sleepless hours tonight. I think it's a pretty big landmark date to have reached. As I told him this evening, only 25 more and you get the big 100. He just chuckled.

A cousin of mine, who is the same advanced age as I am (68), has just learned the name of her true father. Neither her mother, the man who raised her as his daughter, nor her grandmother would ever tell her the man's name. Finally, the husband of a half-sister came to her and revealed the identity. She has now met the half-sister and learned of a now-deceased half-brother. She is very happy to finally learn the identity of her father and of her true family identity. I am happy for her. My brother is not. He thinks she should not have pursued it when she first heard of it. Needless to say, the rest of the family, from what I know, disagree with him. But what can I say. He's always been a strange man. He's my only sibling and I haven't seen him for 20 years. We have very, very little in common.

Strange . . . the patterns life has of working itself out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Here kitty, kitty, kitty!

Ah the tide is changing.

Mike has a new cat!

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


And the livin' is easy.

I don't know why Smoke tends to lie upside down but that's his favorite position. It may be for purposes of cooling.

Muggles, on the other hand, stays on her side, usually. She is, however, difficult to sneak up on.

You've all heard of "Dog Days"?

Think "Cat Days" in these parts.

Incidentally, there's one more cat around here somewhere but Jazz is hiding out.


Jazz surfaced at some time and has found a spot for her snooze on the couch.

Temper, temper

Here is why excessive booze, non-functioning lawn mowers and guns don't mix.

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, man has been arrested after shooting his lawn mower with a sawed off shotgun after it wouldn't start.

He said it was his yard and his lawn mower and he should be able to do whatever he wants.

A woman who lives with him and called police said he was intoxicated.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fabulous Friday Foolery

It's the end of the week as I used to know it. Friday evening was a time for getting drunk. In most times it meant no more work for two days and then back to it. I've been retired (mostly) for a couple of years now but I still think of Friday night as the end of the week.

Tomorrow there's something to celebrate: Mick Jagger becomes 65 years old. Like me, there's no sign that Jagger is planning on retiring. Unlike me, Jagger is still trim and wiry. (The bastard!)

SWMBO and I spent several hours today getting a family trust set up. We don't have much in it right now but we have some hopes for the future. SWMBO says it will eliminate probate when we both fade quietly into the sunet.

Speaking of that, I'm happy to report . . . in light of a post a couple of days ago . . . that "I'm Still Here."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why I don't watch the news

I broke a rule today and watched Barack Obama's speech in Berlin. Quite good, I thought. But afterwards, as he was walking through the crowd, MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell interrupted the NBC Political Reporter Chuck Todd . . . who was making a somewhat valid point about the stagecraft . . . to breathlessly inform the audience that NBC anchorman Brian Williams was now walking alongside Obama. Well, as they used to say in pre-television days, "Stop the presses!" A little later, Mitchell felt it necessary to point out that Williams was now interviewing Obama.

What I'd like to know is who pays her salary: the news department or the promotion department!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Myth of Threes

A week or so ago, a new neighbor to our left came over and asked SWMBO if she would come over to witness her signature on some kind of paper. It turned out to be permission for a hospice to offer care to the lady's father. Dad was in a recliner of sorts hooked up to oxygen and not looking well.

A day or so later, I was picking up my mail and saw the lady sitting outside and went over to say hello. As I neared her I saw that she was sobbing, with tears running down her face. She told me her father had just died.

- - - - - -

This morning, I noticed a large group of people and cars at a house on the other side of our house. Later, when the crowd had thinned but a young woman was outside, I walked over and asked her if something bad had happened. She told me her father had died in his sleep only a few hours ago.

I had just spoken to him last night as I was checking the sky for clouds and a nice sunset. He was sitting outside his home and waved and seemed fine. He was a nice man and we'll miss him.

- - - - - -

But, as SWMBO said: maybe we should get out of town for awhile. And a friend who I told the story this afternoon said that might not be a bad idea and raised the myth of threes. Well, I know that happens with celebrities and people in the news. If two die, a third one follows shortly. But I'm not superstitious or worried.


If you don't hear from me for awhile . . . .

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's new?

Well, I've been trying to think of something to blog about today.

All day.

Y'know what?

I can't think of a damned thing.

Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Big Screen Action

O.K. I finally got my sound back. Know what the problem was? A loose jumper on the audio board. The computer wizard . . . Tom Leufkens . . . found it. Thanks, Tom.

So, I finally have my new computer monitor fully operational. It's a huge picture, which is very good for these old eyes. The screen is 21.6 inches wide. I make that out to be a 22 inch screen, don't you? And it's a flat screen so I finally have some writing room on my desk.

Your Catalyst is a happy camper.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

God-like Catalyst

I have a new t-shirt.

SWMBO took a picture of the front of it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Boys and their toys

I have a new computer monitor - 21.6 inches wide. It is one big mothuh. Of course, when I first hooked it up, the picture didn't fill the screen, leaving about an inch and a half of black on either side. A trip to my computer wizard fixed that. I needed a new video card but he assured me DVD movies would run fine now without the herky-jerky pattern of before.

But . . . there's another problem. Now I don't have any audio. My little icon is still on the task bar but none of the computer's sounds and no audio from the internet or DVD's or CD's is coming out of the speakers. The speakers are o.k. because I plugged them into a transistor radio and they worked fine. I've been through and through the sound and device sites and can't find anything muted or turned down. My next step is to look inside the tower and see if the sound jack somehow became disconnected.

It is very frustrating.

I also bought a cheap tripod for my digital camera yesterday to use for macro work but the new monitor and attendant problems have kept me away from it so far.

The SWMBO says this reminds her of when I was a ham radio operator and each purchase of new equipment would require more expense to buy something that would make it work correctly. She may be right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Picture fun

Here's a photo I snapped at a Buddhist shrine on my last trip to the deepest jungle of Thailand.

No, wait a minute. That face looks familiar. Let me turn the flash on it.

Oh, I remember him. That's actually a small statue in our front garden.

This is a photo of our half-cat Smoke. (You remember, I call him that because he only spends about half of his time with us). He's pretending to ignore me.

Have you ever noticed . . . whenever you want to get a nice tight close-up of your pet's face, he won't settle down. First he walks past your camera one way.

Then he turns and goes the other way . . . always just out of range.

Oh, well, I got one good one of him sometime back. It's at the top of this page.