Monday, January 18, 2010

California's liquid sunshine

The first of a series of rain and snow storms has blown into Arizona from California this morning. If you watched the telecast of the Golden Globes awards last night you know what we can expect. Rain all week for our elevation. A few thousand feet higher around Flagstaff there's a prediction of 3 to 8 feet of snow this week. I'll take the rain.

I talked to the BRD this morning. She lives half a dozen miles to the west and a couple of hundred feet higher than we do. She said she was having "snain" - a little snow, a little rain.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kickin' the ball around

Oh, all right. Steve has been goading me into this posting so here goes.

The New Orleans Saints were better than the Arizona Cardinals yesterday. Quite a bit better. The Cards lost a couple of key players in the first quarter and, frankly, I think their defense was still tired from that great game last weekend with the Packers. So, the Cardinals are done for the season. Kurt Warner took a vicious (though clean) hit and suffered a chest injury although he did come back in the second half. And he did pass for over 200 yards though only two touchdowns. Whether he will announce his retirement soon is still a question in Arizona.

I was a bit more pleased today to see Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings manhandle the Dallas Cowboys. And the Indianapolis Colts did secure a victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

So, Steve, there you go. I think that's all I've got to say. (sniff, sniff)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back, back, back . . .

I thought I'd take a trip way back into the past today. These photos were taken somewhere in the middle 1960's when I was a news director at a television station in Bismarck, North Dakota. The event was a small going-away party for an employee, John Warren, who was leaving to become my competitor at another t.v. station in town. I'm the guy on the right, by the way.

One more photo which shows your scribe at the left.

There are several things to note in these photos.

#1 - I was about a hundred pounds lighter than I am today and v-e-r-y slender (to put it nicely) or skinny (to put a more accurate note on it.)

#2 - I was wearing a necktie, something I haven't done for close to 35 years.

#3 - My pants were too short. We used to call them high-water pants.

#4 - In neither photo am I without a cigarette, something that has been absent from my persona now for more than 18 years. (I feel better though I never had any health problems from the butts that I knew of.)

#5 - And I just thought of another one: I am beardless, which has not been the case except for a few very brief lapses of sanity for nearly 40 years!

How the years do change us!

And how they affect our memory. Steve pointed out (see comments below) that those pictures looked familiar and he thought I had posted them before. He is correct! I looked back in the archives and found a similar post with the same photos only last November. Ye-Gods! Please forgive the repetition.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fire and Ice

It seems strange, with snow showing in the Bradshaws, to also see smoke rising. But there it is.

It seems the Forest Service is burning off some wood piles in the forest.
The photos were taken from the north Lynx Lake campground parking lot.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's all image

This is the official photograph of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer which is posted on the official governor's office web page. Not bad, huh?

But wait!
Here is a news photograph taken of the governor as she delivered her State of the State address to the legislature yesterday. That's more than a rough weekend!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lucky Number 13!

What is being called one of the greatest football games in the history of the National Football League saw the Arizona Cardinals move up in the playoffs by defeating the Green Bay Packers 51 to 45 yesterday.

The Cardinals quarterback, 38 year old Kurt Warner, put on an amazing display as did his counterpart, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers. But it was the veteran who came out on top after Rodgers was sacked on the first series of plays in the overtime session and Karlos Dansby recovered the fumble and ran it 17 yards into the end zone for the winning touchdown.

There was talk yesterday about Warner retiring after this season but he told everyone to relax after the game and said that decision would wait until the team has finished this year. Warner has another year left on a contract extension he signed last year but a concussion he suffered this year has put the retirement question up for discussion.

So the Cardinals move on to New Orleans Saturday to take on the Saints. Who have lost their last three games.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


It's actually not bad here in Arizona. Right now (at 11:30 a.m.) the temperature is 43 degrees and the forecast high today is 56. But most of the rest of the country is abnormally cold. For example, take a look at Charleston, South Carolina, where my pal Joan has had her camera out this morning.

Reminds me of that old pirate line: shiver my timbers!

Back where I grew up, in North Dakota, the wind chill this week was 50 degrees below zero! Now I can remember going out to ice skate when the real temperature was 20 below but that was 60 years ago and now I'm feeling cold at 43 degrees. I just have to try to remember last summer when the temperature was in the 90's and I was wishing for the cooler weather to arrive.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Movies and more

I've been on a movie watching jag lately. I just watched "Donnie Brasco" with Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, among others. Yesterday I watched "Nick of Time" with Depp and Christopher Walken. Both were quite good but after all the violence I think I'm now ready for a chick flick. My movie aficionado, Reed, had never heard of the "Nick of Time" film so I actually got one up on him. He's a true movie maven so has usually already seen everything I see. I don't know how I'd missed these two Depp films all these years.

Speaking of film, look what I found:

Looks like paradise, doesn't it. And I only live a half-dozen miles away. Meantime, just up over Mingus Mountain, maybe 15 miles away in the opposite direction is one of my favorite towns: Jerome.

As noted, Sedona and the Red Rocks are only 25 to 30 miles beyond that. Not a bad place to live, here in the heart of Arizona.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Birthday Day

David Bowie and my pal, Reed, both became 63 years old today.

But the big marker is for Elvis Presley. Were he still alive, he'd be 75 today. If you want to celebrate that milestone, you might go no further than The New York Times Dining Blog. Click on the link for a truly Elvis recipe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do cats have memories?

I was struck by this question this morning just after I had let Smoke out the back door. I watched as he sniffed along the deck, then leaped to the top of a fence separating our yard from our neighbor's yard.

The neighbor has an un-neutered small black male cat. While he comes into our garage and apparently sleeps there from time to time and generally seems to get along all right with Smoke, there have been a couple of instances where apparently the hormones are raging and the two of them get into a spat. A cat spat. I'll hear the howling and when I go out, they are nose to nose. Smoke, as I have often said, is a very placid cat but in these instances he seems to become the alpha cat and in a very short time chases Blackie (as I call him) out of the yard.

I'm sure neither cat relishes these encounters. At least they don't appear to enjoy them. So why, I wondered this morning, does Smoke go over into Blackie's yard as if looking for him? Is it because he has no memory of the bad encounters?

Well. I am a man of the 21st Century so I did what all good modernists do - I went to the Internets in search of an answer. And on a site called "Pawprints and Purrs, Inc." here's what I found:

Cats have a memory that can be up to 200 times more retentive than dogs. The individual feline uses his memory only for what he regards as useful functions; therefore, a cat's memory is quite selective.

Now I would think that avoiding a contretemps with another cat would be a useful function but perhaps it's not as useful as remembering where one's food dish is located. If any of you readers have a better idea or more knowledge about this than I do, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Alaska!

It's Alaska's birthday today. 51 years ago, on January 3rd, 1959, President Eisenhower signed papers officially making it a state.

And you can see Russia from there.

Well, not from Anchorage. Or Wasilla. Or especially not from the state capitol in Juneau. But as you can see from this map (if you expand it by clicking on it) on a clear day you can probably see Russia from the island of Little Diomede. A little bit of it anyway.

Happy birthday, Alaska. Keep your eyes on the skies.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


You may not have realized this but today's date is palindromic. Yup, that means it reads the same forward to back or backward to front. Need an explanation? Click here.

Can you believe there are people who sit around thinking these things up?

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's a new year!

2010 dawned with a bright, hopeful, sunny day here in Arizona. With it came a new idea for landscape beautification. The city has just re-paved a road across town but January 1st is no time to be growing grass alongside it. So . . . solution? Paint the dirt! Presto! A green border!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long, 2009 - Greetings 2010!

There is a tradition in New Orleans to have a funeral parade accompanying the casket to the graveyard. A dixieland band accompanies with a slow, sad song. But once the body is in the ground and the cortege heads back to town, the music changes. To give you an idea of how it goes, here is a famous Dixieland Band from Hungary, of all places - the Benko Dixieland Band. Say goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Run-up to New Year's Eve

Well, there are only three days (actually about 2-1/2) left of 2009. Soon it will be New Year's Eve. I'm trying to get into the right mood.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

SWMBO and I were invited to the BRD's house last night for her traditional Christmas Eve dinner.

Beautifully decorated, as usual. And dinner was superb. Mussels in garlic butter sauce, lobster tails, twice-baked potatoes, asparagus, mini-beef Wellingtons, artisanal bread, Creme Brulee. And lots of good wine.

We came home with full tummies.