Monday, October 27, 2008

Sam I Am

Prescott Valley's newest big box store opened last Thursday and judging by the crowds of people flocking to the store it's going to be a huge success.

Welcome Sam's Club, the warehouse outlet associated with the Wal-Mart empire and worthy competitor to the Costco store located just a few miles up the road toward Prescott. As I see it, the biggest disadvantage to the store right now are the lines and lengthy time it is taking to buy a membership. I had done a tour of the store last week and liked what I saw (plus it's closer than Costco to where I live) so today I grabbed a spot in line and waited. It took awhile but finally I had my membership card in hand and went to find SWMBO, who had been touring the store.

Sam's and Costco are very much alike in store layout, merchandise and price but I find the new Sam's Club to be much brighter due at least in part to a great number of skylights throughout the store. I had originally thought it was just more white paint and perhaps brighter lights but another shopper had noticed the skylights and called them to my attention. You can see a number of them in the following photos.

SWMBO also noticed that through the center part of the store the shelves are lower than at Costco, giving good line-of-sight and perhaps contributing to the brightness.

At any rate, it is a fine addition to the town and again judging by the crowds the economic downturn doesn't seem to be having a large effect in Prescott Valley.

Best of all . . . it's pretty much "one stop shopping."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

T. Bone . . er, T. Boone

T. Boone Pickens is a man who has made many fortunes in the oil business.

He is now 80 years old and has changed his tune.

Now, he says oil isn't the answer.

Something he is famous for is the answer: wind power.

The rich windbag says we have to build many huge windmills across our country and link them to multi-million dollars worth of transmission lines to take our dependence away from . . . you guessed it, OIL!

Funny. This happened about the time the stock market crashed, reducing Pickens' hedge fund value by half.

While I favor solar power, wind power and other green sources of energy, I must say: Don't buy this charlatan's message. He is in it for his own pocketbook. Purely.

(This is the man who personally funded the lying, slime-covered Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry four years ago. He says he would do it again. He is an evil man. Reject him.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm Worried

There are only 10 days to go to Election Day 2008 and the 3rd game of the World Series is in a rain delay. Is it a sign? Damn, I'll be glad when this is over.

(Not the World Series)

A friend sent me this . . . maybe to cheer me up.

One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the rascally behavior that was going on. So he called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time. When he returned, he told God, 'Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not. God thought for a moment and said, 'Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion.'

So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time. When the angel returned he went to God and said, 'Yes, it's true.The Earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good.'

God was not pleased. So He decided to e-mail the 5% that were good, because he wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what the e-mail said?

Okay, I was just wondering, because I didn't get one either.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Painted Fence

Tom Sawyer (SWMBO) has been busy in our back yard.

She decided the new fence was too stark with just the simple, unpainted wood. So she got some stain and some pigment, created her own colors and painted away.

She said tie-dye was her inspiration. I think those French impressionists may also have had an influence on her.

With that patio umbrella, it is a colorful back patio.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Book Lover's Library

A friend sent me an e-mail with photos of strange buildings from around the world. Included was one that claimed to be a public library in Kansas City, Missouri. Here's the photo. It is truly an amazing bit of ingenuity . . . if it's real. Anyone actually seen it who can verify its accuracy?

Update: I went to the web and researched this. It's real! The books are actually on the face of the parking garage for the library. You can see many more pictures of this amazing library . . both inside and out . . by running the slide show here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Going up!

Prescott Valley's new town library is steeling itself for the town's readers.

Funny. You'd think a building that used to house prim little ladies whispering "shhhhh" to noisy patrons wouldn't be made out of steel.

Anyway, here's a look at the project, which will also house some classrooms for the P.V. campus of Yavapai College.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Signs of Autumn

Ah, the days and nights are cooler, with crisp breezes blowing.

And the leaves are changing color . . from green to golden . . .

. . and red . . .

Some trees, like this big Globe Willow, are still in transition.

And there are other signs of autumn as well.

Note the young man who constructed this Halloween scene even dug a couple of graves with tombstones in his front yard. Ingenious!

But there are other less pleasing signs of the season.

They seem to appear nearly every year nowadays.

Call it "Campaign Clutter."

One candidate for state office used his garage door as his sign-posting space.

As always, clicking on the individual photos will render them larger!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mac is back!

Word has it that John McCain is showing up Thursday night to make up with Dave on the Letterman Show.

Wonder if it will be something like this?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Beef on the Hoof

These pictures were all taken just a couple of blocks from where I live. It's a big open field and sometimes the rancher who owns it has his cattle grazing on it.

This big fella doesn't look pleased. I'm not sure whether he's got his rear foot tangled up in that brushy tree or if he's just thinking about taking on the wise guy with the camera.

At any rate he got his foot untangled and turned to give me this nice profile.

A handsome animal.

(Try not to picture where the steaks and hamburgers are going to come from.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just one picture

Jazz on a Mexican blanket.

The New West

Take a look at this. You might have to blow it up by clicking on the picture to "get the picture".

It's a little bit of "the Old West" sort of superimposed on "the new West". Those are the Bradshaw mountains in the distance, part of the town of Prescott Valley a little closer (where the trees are) and a small herd of cows on what apparently is still ranchland.

Kinda neat, huh?

Would have been better if I'd have stopped to take the picture when the cows were right up by the fence.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Smears, Lies and Politics as usual

Someone I know told me today that they would vote for John McCain for President this year. I respect this person but I can't respect their reasons. #1 was Barack Obama's supposed relationship with 1960's Weatherman William Ayres. #2 was his relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

You can find Senator Obama's explanation on this web site.

I must admit I have never been a fan of Senator John McCain but I sympathized with him when his 2000 presidential campaign was derailed by smears and lies from the George Bush campaign in South Carolina.

What really disappoints me is that Senator McCain has now adopted this same campaign tactic to try to defeat Senator Obama.

Johnny, we hardly knew ye.

p.s. I voted yesterday by early ballot. For Senator Barack Obama.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


As the BRD was moving this week, she and SWMBO traded living room furniture. Whereas ours was wicker with an off-white upholstery, the BRD's was big, puffy and dark green.

On moving day, Jazz holed up on a shelf in a bedroom closet and stayed there for 8 hours or so. Finally, in the evening, she came out and walked (or stalked) very slowly over to the big couch and carefully began sniffing it. Not only is it new, it carries the scent of a couple of strange cats.

But by last night, Muggles (left) and Smoke (center) seem to have made their peace with it. Jazz (right) is still sniffing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

McCain v. Obama

O.K. I'm sorry. I really meant to keep politics off this blog. For the most part. But I can't hold myself back.

During the primary season, I was a strong backer of Hillary Clinton, which led to a bit of a contretemps with Phoebe Fay, during which we didn't talk for quite awhile. But I'm over that now. Her guy won and I now support him fervidly.

So fervidly, in fact, that I am ready to wring John McCain's neck. This guy, who had a pretty decent reputation except for his temper, the Keating episode, his drinking, his gambling, his disgraceful treatment of his first wife and, of course, his lying ways that pissed off many voters in the Arizona Republican (not to mention Democratic) party. Even McCain has said "Barry Goldwater never liked me. I'm not sure why." Well, hell, John, I think I can tell you. Barry was a man of his word and you never were, in spite of all your politi-speak bullshit about "straight talk" and "maverick". We could trust Barry, whether we agreed with him or not, to say and MEAN what he said. That was REAL straight talk.

Yours - isn't.

But even more so, in this campaign, against a Democratic candidate who seems to be, above all, decent . . . you, John McCain, have been a complete ass. Your arrogant attitude at the first debate. The lies you or your campaign have been spewing forth while you keep talking about how honest and straightforward you are. Your complete rudeness to Barack Obama when he tries to "make nice" with you.

I'm sorry, my fellow Arizonans and Republicans nationwide, this guy (McCain) is running a desperate campaign worthy only of Karl Rove and his numbers are sinking by the day.

O.K. That's enough.

For now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Moving Day

The BRD is moving today.

Frankly, I think I would be a little concerned about the names of these guys but . . .

Actually, Frank and Jesse were nowhere in sight. The boss guy was Bill and I forget the other fellow's name but they worked like galley slaves for five hours filling their truck with the contents of the BRD's half of the duplex.

The BRD will be much happier in her new place. It's a house with a couple of thousand square feet and she'll have room to spread out and fill the house with all of her beautiful art work.

But . . I've moved way more times than I ever wanted and neither SWMBO or I could handle it again, even with hired movers.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


What was your favorite Paul Newman movie?

I'd have to argue for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" with his buddy, Robert Redford.

Then, of course, there was that irrepressible bad boy in "Cool Hand Luke."

Southern charm, with Elizabeth Taylor, in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

Paul got back with his pal, Redford, in "The Sting".

Ah, there were so many great movies. Newman made about 60, including "The Hustler", and it's sequel "The Color of Money", "The Long Hot Summer", (this picture may have come from that one.)

There was "Exodus", "The Silver Chalice" (that's the one Paul hated), who could forget "Hud" (Patricia Neal certainly couldn't!), "Winning" (the movie that started his interest in auto racing), "Sometimes A Great Notion", "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean", "The Verdict", "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge", "Road to Perdition" and "Empire Falls" . . . just to name a few.

Newman said he didn't read reviews of his movies because the good ones give you a fat head and the bad ones make you depressed for three weeks.

But . . . what was your favorite Newman movie?

Whatever it was, we'll remember this guy, and those amazing blue eyes, for a long, long time.

Sad news

American actor Paul Newman has died of cancer at 83.


Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate

Well, the first presidential debate of this year is over. What did you think?

SWMBO and I agreed (Amazing) that it was pretty much a draw. I thought McCain lost points by his constant repetition of "Senator Obama just doesn't understand" . . . and his refusal to ever look in his direction. But, as far as talking points went, we thought it was about a draw.

Everyone I've talked to since says the same.

But that's good for Obama. (And I might add, good for America) He was ahead and this should keep him ahead.

Let's face it. John McCain is not someone we want for the next president. And, more important, Sarah Palin is not someone we want for the next vice-president. Or, god forbid, the next president.

So let's face it, folks. This year, vote Democrat!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The ramp is done!

Some of you may remember my post (if you even remember me!) about the partially completed backyard ramp. Well, amazingly, the carpenter finally did return and finished the job...after a fashion. He didn't do all the work he had promised to do. The work he did was rather marginal. The materials he used were less than marginal. He left a hell of a mess in the backyard. Unfortunately, he got all of his money before he was quite done so then it was just a rush to get out of here and on to his next sucker, oops, client. He did advise us that if the surface of the wood was left untreated, the ramp probably would rot and collapse in a few years but he didn't volunteer to treat it.

So, SWMBO and I groaned and strained and finally finished treating it yesterday with something that makes it look a little bit like redwood.

By the way, if you click on that second photo to expand it, you'll see how nice the "redwood" ramp plays off my coveted bright orange screen door!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Around the neighborhood

The World Arts Fair started yesterday in Prescott Valley and I went down for a walk-through to snap a few pictures. This was my scene-setter.

The next time I tried to shap the shutter, the camera told me the battery was too low.

So ended my photographic adventure with the fair, though I did walk through, sampled a Santa Barbara wine, watched a mime (VERY briefly), and headed for home.

Today, SWMBO decided we should go up to the top of Mingus Mountain for a picnic. Nice views from up there.

The actual mountaintop is electronic with television towers every few feet.

So ends my adventurous weekend.

As usual, all of the photos are more impressive if you click on them for the larger shot.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Growth is a good thing!

Our massive new Home Depot store opens this evening.

Sam's Club and the Cracker Barrel restaurant are not far behind.

Prescott Valley is growing!

Monday, September 8, 2008

McCain & Palin

Excerpt from the lead editorial in the New York Times, Sunday, September 8th:

Mr. McCain's choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate raises even more worrisome questions. Her strategy is drill here, drill there, drill now.

She would open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a heartbeat --- something Mr. McCain continues to oppose. She has sued the Bush administration for declaring the polar bear a threatened species, fearing it would interfere with oil exploration in Alaskan waters. She has questioned whether humans are responsible for climate change. Governor Palin's views are alarmingly out of touch with reality. No less alarming was Mr. McCain's decision to welcome them into his campaign.

We must be very, very careful in the voting booths eight weeks from tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Eagleton effect

For those of you too young to remember, Senator Thomas Eagleton was chosen by George McGovern as his running mate in 1972. He lasted only 18 days, after revelations that he had suffered from depression and had been subjected to electroshock therapy. So much for Eagleton, so much for McGovern. Though I'm afraid McGovern never had much of a chance to unseat Richard Nixon anyway. (Nixon himself was unseated two years later when he was forced to resign the presidency over the Watergate scandal.)

So, now we have Sarah Palin named by John McCain as his choice for the v.p. nomination and the media is going crazy as revelation after revelation comes out. Rather than detailing them all here, I urge you to go to the Colonel's blog and read his multiple postings on the subject. Governor Palin this year's Eagleton? Will she survive? It's not looking good for her at present but John McCain is a stubborn man. At any rate, for this blogger, politics has become fun again.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sleepy Smoke

This is a lazed-out Smoke.

Ha! Bet you thought I was asleep, didn't you!!!!

American Politics

Announcing Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential pick one day after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention was John McCain's ploy to take the attention of the media away from Barack Obama's marvelous speech of the night before.

But what now? Not only has the attention to Palin been taken away by the oncoming Hurricane Gustav but the Republican Convention is in turmoil, with McCain on t.v. today telling his folks to "take off their Republican hats and put on your American hats." (He had barely finished speaking when I received a telephone call from a friend who asked "What is McCain doing? He was talking like he already has been elected and is running the country!") Gustav has also caused the cancellation of speeches by Bush and Cheney to the convention and apparently shortened the convention itself.

Earlier today, the BRD called to say "Remember how the Republicans were praying for a thunderstorm to wash out Obama's speech the last night of the Democrat convention? Now look what's happening to their convention! They should be careful what they pray for!"

I was tempted to call her back later and sing "Obama will win now . . . with God on his side!"

Meanwhile, back to Palin. I have several friends who live and formerly lived in Juneau, Alaska. While one says she is smart, tough and dedicated to her family, others deride the choice of a woman with so little experience being a heartbeat from the presidency. Particularly with a 72 year old president with health problems.

She also believes in:

  • Teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in the schools.
  • Drilling for oil in the ANWR area of Alaska.
  • Global warming is NOT human-caused.
  • Women should not have the right to decide for themselves whether to end a pregnancy.
  • The war in Iraq is a good thing.

She also refuses to live in the governor's mansion in Juneau, preferring instead to remain in her home in Wasilla, a long air flight away. And, despite campaign promises to the contrary, would like the state capitol moved from Juneau to Anchorage.

I'm sorry, folks, this woman is not playing with a full deck, no matter how many fish she catches and how many moose-burgers she consumes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah who???

The pick of Senator John McCain to be his running mate. Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Click on the bottom picture to read the caption.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've said it before: Barack Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention tonight was a transformational moment. He made his first big impression on the national conscience four years ago when he gave a speech at the convention of that year.

People began to notice him.

Tonight, I can't imagine anyone, even my lifelong Republican father, who couldn't have been moved by this speech. Granted, he is a natural orator. But tonight he overcame all the rhetoric and got down to the points of his "change."

I was a supporter of Hillary Clinton to the end of the primaries. But tonight, I totally came over to the Obama side. For the first time, I saw not only the high-minded speechifying but the true measure of the man.

I will be proud to do what I can to elect Barack Obama the next president and I think he may go down in history as one of our best.


Other convention highlights:

The speeches of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton. I thought Joe Biden's speech was good but not great. Although I didn't see all of it, I gather the speech by the governor of Montana was quite a barnburner too.

I was quite happy not to see any sign of John Edwards.

Contrary to the view of Colonel Colonel, I think the Clintons were spectacular at this convention and both of their speeches were great.


AND, I thought Michael McDonald's verson of "America" was nearly as good as the late great Ray Charles'.