Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oh, wow! An award!

I am honored! I HAVE BEEN honored by the delicious Malicious Intent!
She has given me her MIAward and placed me in her esteemed Hall of Fame!
I thank you, M.I., and I shall display my award proudly!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is this the beginning?

Of the monsoon season, that is.

We've been teased this year with cool temperatures and quite a lot of rain in May, which is unusual.

But today, the sky was full of clouds in all directions. And it did rain a bit during the night.

So, maybe the rainy season is nearly here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Summer Saturday

SWMBO and I made a trip into Prescott today to have lunch with our friend Diane and to visit the Crafts Fair on the Square.

That's the two ladies, looking colorful.

Diane's daughter Linda, (above) and her friend Kay (below) had a booth at the fair to sell their wonderful wood products. (Which I neglected to photograph!)

Looking around the fair a bit I found a flutist selling CD's of his music.

There was a bluegrass group.

And, everywhere you looked, dogs! Like this teacup chihuahua, which I was told is fully grown but still only a handful.

She had plenty of company.

Last but not least was this fellow, who may have been the Top Salesdog but when we caught up with him he was just . . . . . dog tired!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baseball Heroes

My buddy, Steve, whom (I hesitate to say but only for a second) I have known for 36 years, invited me down to Phoenix to go to a baseball game yesterday. Steve has become a fervent baseball fan and once again has season tickets for the Arizona Diamondbacks home games at Chase Field.

So, on occasion, I get to take in a game with him, courtesy of Steve's generosity.

Yesterday was such a day and it was a good day because the Diamondbacks scraped out a 2 to 1 victory.

But it gets better!

As we were making our way out of the stadium, a Diamondbacks employee at the top of the escalator said "Hey, if you guys go down to gate 110, you can stroll the bases."

Now, obviously he had noticed the white hair on both of us because this was especially for "seniors" on this day and he didn't ask for any i.d. for either of us. Also, you will note, he didn't say "run the bases", he said "stroll the bases."

Anyway Steve said "C'mon, let's do it!"

He didn't mention until we were too far along that gate 110 was approximately five miles from where we started out. No problem for Steve but he's ten years younger (and nearly as tall) as I am.

Eventually we reached the gate and joined a throng of seniors waiting to be allowed onto the field.

Here we are, in line.

And finally, here we are right on the field. That's third base between us.

I have to admit, after the forced march that got us to the field itself, I was a little worried . . . remembering that each base is 90 feet apart. That's 360 feet total and we stepped onto the field in fairly deep right field. But once on the field, those 90 foot distances didn't seem that far after all. And I was wondering - how come the Diamondbacks don't steal more often.

Anyway, it was fun. Thanks Steve . . especially for remembering to bring your camera along!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A litany

Just thought you all would like something (quite a few things, actually) to think about. So, here you go.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Weather it's hot or Whether it's cold . .

This has been a strange year so far.

We've had quite a bit of rain in May, when it's not supposed to rain hardly at all.

And here it is the 8th of June and it's cool!

It's not supposed to be cool now. This is nearly the middle of summer, by Arizona standards, and it should be blisteringly hot with people praying for the monsoon season to start.

I was driving to Prescott today and heard the radio announcer say, "It's 89 in Phoenix." Now 89 might be hot where you live but it's nothing in Phoenix.

After all, as any native or tourist knows, it may be hot . . .

You betcha! I mean, 89 in the middle of the day in the middle of summer? Most locals would be out looking for an outdoor basketball game!

I'm not complaining, mind you. While the days and nights have seemed cool this spring and summer, we all know the devastating Global Warmy is out there, waiting.

One of these fine days, the weather will change and we'll all be saying "Oh, helpmegod! Have mercy on us! Bring on the autumn breezes!"

Dry heat or not.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Full Moon Memories

There's a full moon out there tonight - - a good night to remember one of the greatest of the Sherlock Holmes portrayers -- Jeremy Brett.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Wild Blue Yonder

There are four institutions of higher learning in our area: Prescott College, Yavapai College (whose name comes from the Yavapai Apaches who have, among other things, a small reservation housing two casinos), North Central University (an Internet school), and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (one of two campuses, the other being in Florida.) This last school trains pilots, aeronautical engineers, and many other specialties related to flying. Their school mascot is the screaming eagle.

All of which is to say that I took a drive around the backside of the Prescott Airport (Love Field) today and stumbled across the Embry-Riddle "air force".

I assume these airplanes are used for training flights by the students. There are also many, many buildings housing various aspects of the University. (The main campus is a few miles away.)

My favorite building is this one:

I thought the hanging propellor perfectly matched the sign in the lower right.

Meantime, as I was driving around taking pictures, I couldn't help but wonder if someone in this tower was keeping an eye on me!

Feeling somewhat conspicuous, if not amused at the thought of some unsmiling guy in a security vehicle pulling me over to inquire just what I thought I was doing (evidence of reading too many James Bond novels!), I continued on down the road until I entered an area called the Prescott Air Park. It's actually an industrial park with many different businesses having buildings there.

Already feeling some trepidation at my previous imaginings, I was startled when I encountered this beast in front of one of the office buildings.

A closer look at this grizzly's countenance could give a person bad dreams.

As for me, looking at those teeth, I was taken back to my recent contretemps with Smoke!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Word Play

Now, these were sent to me by one of my intellectual friends. This is NOT the height of his intellect but some of them aren't bad. Some are old familiar ones, some are new. Enjoy . . but, full disclosure, some of them may be a tad bluish for some of you.

Here are the winners of this year's Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n..): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating..

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk...

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj.. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n... Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

If you made it to here, please remember that I didn't coin any of these. In other words, don't kill the messenger!

Talk to the animals

There's a startling article in today's New York Times about research to give a human speech gene to mice!

After reading the piece, all I could think about was Dr. Dolittle!

Monday, June 1, 2009

She's been at it again!

I have previously noted the BRD's rather odd garden.

Now it's her front yard.

Remembering Warren Zevon

Ever since my last post, I haven't been able to get this song out of my mind. So I thought I'd afflict you, dear readers, in the same fashion. Herewith, the late Warren Zevon.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oh, Hunter

He is Dr. (the doctor was as mythical as he was) Hunter S. Thompson. An American writer of magnificent proportion.

I have just watched a documentary film about him, titled "Gonzo: the Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson".

I highly recommend it.

It tells the story, not only of a self-created man but of the times in America during the '60's and 70's.
Thompson, to those who do not know, was an abuser of alcohol, drugs and life. But he was an excellent writer, much of the time. His best book (in my opinion, though not of others) was "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72", a chronicle of the American presidential campaign in 1972, during which Thompson almost single-handedly ruined the presidential hopes of Edward Muskie, spent an hour and a half in the back seat of a limousine with Richard Nixon, and lost his hope at the presidential defeat of George McGovern.

I believe in today's society, he would be known as a bi-polar individual. He could be funny and lovable and he could be mean and vicious. But all in all, ever and ever, he was "Hunter".

Get the movie. Watch it. Let me know of your opinion.

To those of you who don't know, Thompson ended his life in 2005 with a gunshot to the head in his kitchen.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I have just finished reading (in one day - it's a short book and an easy read) Christopher Buckley's book about the death of his parents in the space of less than a year. They were the famous conservative William F. Buckley and his stunning wife Patricia Taylor Buckley. Christo (as his family called him) was at his mother's bedside when she breathed her last. He was at home in Washington when his father died in his study in Connecticut. He talks about becoming an orphan in his 50's. It caused me to think about my own parents' deaths.

I became an orphan when I was 40.

But my mother died, of a brain tumor, when I was only 13. She had suffered through a year of increasingly severe headaches. My aunt had visited us in a small North Dakota town from California and my grandfather was driving her to visit other relatives in Minnesota before her return home. Seemingly to me at the last moment Dad sent me with them. While we were visiting in Minnesota, my mother worsened. She was sent to the nearest hospital 60 miles away. Then it was determined that her condition was serious enough to send her to Minneapolis. But she died in the night before that trip could begin.

I was in another aunt's house in Minnesota when the telephone rang. I had no idea of the seriousness of my mother's condition but I could tell from the graveness of the telephone call what had happened. At 13, I just wanted to be alone. I went for a long walk by myself. I'm not sure I understood until I got home what had happened.

Now we flash forward 27 years. I am living in Phoenix. My father has spent several winters in Arizona, found a trailer court where he had purchased a trailer home and was happy. But, while SWMBO and I were on a trip to New Mexico, we heard from him that he was in a hospital and was going to have his gall bladder removed. We cut short our trip and hurried home. He had already had the surgery and soon we brought him to our home to recover.

Dad was a big man but he had lost a lot of weight in the hospital. Additionally, for perhaps the first time in his life, he had lost his appetite. He worried about both of them. After a few weeks he said he wanted to go back to his trailer home, where his friends were.

I was working in the news media and had to go to to Detroit to the Republican National Convention. Only a day or two after I arrived there, I received a telephone call from SWMBO, telling me that she had gone to pick up Dad to bring him to our home for the week to watch the convention together. Instead she found him dead in his bed.

That's how I became an orphan, not being anywhere near when either of my parents died. Reading Christopher Buckley's book today I couldn't help wondering - is it easier if the surviving one is at the bedside or far away and only gets the news by a long distance telephone call?

I'm not sure I'll ever know.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm still here!

I have been very remiss in my blogging recently. I didn't feel I had anything to say.

But then! My buddy Mike , who has been absent for even longer than I have, finally blogged today.

So, I thought, "...well, if he can blog . . . so can I!"

So here's my life recently.

Yesterday, I came home from running some errands. When I put the car in the garage, Smoke (that grey bastard at the top of this page) was waiting at the door to be let into the house. So, like a good guy (that I am) I stepped up to the door to let him in. Almost immediately, he whirled and grabbed my ankle with both paws, claws extended, and also locked on with his teeth. I, innocent that I am, screamed some sort of profane words at him and tried to swat him off with a few papers I had in one hand. I, naturally, was wondering why this dear cat of mine had turned into a raging hell-demon intent on taking my life out through my ankle.

Suddenly it came to me! (As Mike would say, "I'm old and I'm tired.") As I would say, if I had enough sense to say ANYTHING, "Oh, shit, I'm...standing...on...his...tail!" I DID say something like that, at least in my head. I let up on my OTHER foot and Smoke (mercifully) let loose of me.

After I took the stuff I had in my hands into the house and told SWMBO that I was wounded to the bone I went out to look for (and apologize to) that (bastard) cat. He was out on the sidewalk in front of the house. When I called to him, he walked away, looking over his shoulder with a hateful glare in his eyes.

I asked SWMBO to try to call him into the house. He came in. I tried to stay out his way.

I don't know whether cats have short memories or if they forgive their people or what. But later he let me pet him and accepted my heartfelt apologies.

I love my Smoke.

My ankle, covered with spot bandages, . . . hurts.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I am NOT a stalker!

Well, I thought you oughta know.

Y'see, I have a blog list that is LARGELY occupied by ladies. And they ARE ladies. (Well, most of 'em.)

Heh-heh. Now you're all trying to figure out which one of you . . . AREN'T!

Well, for my money, you all are ladies.

But, with the exception of Mike and Colonel and Lynn and Steve and Tombo (not too sure about him .....KIDDING!) and Anaglyph . . .and Warren. They're all girls! And they're really HOT girls.

But..........I am NOT a stalker.

Sure, they're is Dawn (Whew! - Newfoundland is melting), Joanie (South Carolina is hotter than ever), Kitty (HAH! Don't tell me England is cold!), Sweet Lucy (Hey, France, what can I say!), Meggie (Down Under? Need I say more?), Malicious Intent (The title says it all!), Miss Cellania (Have you seen her pictue?), and finally, but not last, Willow (Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, wow!)

And finally, there's Granny J . . . or Julie. She's the only one of the group that I've actually met. And she's a beautiful young lady.

But . . . . . I am NOT a stalker!!!!

Spring blooms

Blooms from SWMBO's garden.

First, the common petunia.

Then the clematis.

And finally, the tropical-in-appearance honeysuckle.

More detail is observable if you click on each of the photos.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chicken Piccata

Due to a vast (well, 2 or 3) number of requests, I present herewith SWMBO's recipe for Chicken Piccata.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt & Pepper (optional)
1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons dry white wine
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons small capers
8 thin slices fresh lemon


Sear chicken on both sides in mixture of olive oil and butter until golden brown. Set aside and keep warm.

Deglaze pan with mixture of lemon juice and wine. Reduce volume slightly.

Replace chicken in liquid in pan and turn to coat.

Top each piece of chicken with two lemon slices.

Sprinkle capers over all. Add chopped parsley.

Cover pan and let simmer for two minutes.

We love to add some freshly cooked fettucini mixed with heated Alfredo sauce. (The stuff in bottles in the store is fine.) A sliced baguette also helps the meal, along with a nice glass of white wine.

Bon appetit!

p.s. Recipe also works with veal or even turkey.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh, y'gotta have friends . . .

Oooooohhhhh, I got a prize!!! From my bestest friend, Delicious Dawn away up in Newfoundland or some such place. Here's the prize.

But wait! There are rules. Here they are:

The following rules came with this prize: These blogs are exceedingly charming.These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

So here are my nominees:

Granny J
Malicious Intent

Go for it, youse guys!