Friday, July 16, 2010

Tlaloc toys with us

Tlaloc has been lurking in our area, playing with our hopes and emotions. But, so far, he has not lingered long. Here for a couple of instants, then gone in a mist.

We await.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mag 22 explanation

This, my friends, is a red herring.

A red herring is defined as "a deliberate attempt to divert attention."

And that's what this sentence is: "The old magus actually timed out everyone's summer."

In fact . . . it doesn't mean anything. However, if you extract the first letter of each word in the sentence, you will see what the devious author was up to: T O M A T O E S

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mag 22

The old magus actually timed out everyone's summer.
If you figure this one out, other offerings can be found in Willow's garden at Magpie Tales.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A new intersection

The new Side Road intersection has been under construction for months. But progress is finally being seen.

The highlight, of course, is a new overpass crossing Highway 89-A.

It finally is spanning the highway though much finish work is still to be done.

I wonder, by the way, who came up with the scintillating name of "Side Road" for . . . a side road.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mag 21

This one is a little different. It's actually a true story.

I lived in Mexico for nearly five years back in the late 1980’s. It was a great half a decade. Lots of parties, lots of new experiences, lots of new friends.

One of my best friends during those days was a guy from Harlingen, Texas, who spent probably 30 years before retiring to Mexico living in New York City. He’s gone now but he was the father of someone you may have heard about. My friend’s name was Walter Nixon and his daughter was Cynthia Nixon. If you don’t know the name, you’ve been off the planet for awhile. Cynthia is a New York actress who currently is best known for playing Miranda in the "Sex and the City" television series and movies.

But back to Walter. He had a love for language and loved nothing better than discovering a new word or phrase in Spanish. One day he was delighted to tell me he had discovered the Spanish word for firecrackers. It was, he said with a grin, triquitraque . . . pronounced tree-key-trah-kay. As Walter pointed out the word was perfect because it sounded just like the firecrackers exploding.

As I prepared to write this, I dug out my Larousse English-Spanish dictionary to verify the story. Firecracker, it said, could be translated as cohete or petardo. So then I went the other way and looked up triquitraque. Sure enough, along with "clickety-clack, bang, and boom" was the word "firecracker."

So thanks, Walter. Firecrackers will always be triquitraques to me.
You can read more writers' stories by going to Magpie Tales.

Political Pornography

Argggghhh! It's that time again.

The primary election is a month away. The general election is 4 months away. The cluttering of the landscape is well underway.

This is just a small sample of the hundreds of signs trying to convince the ignorant (?) voters to cast their ballots for this candidate or that candidate.

But pity poor Rusty Bowers. His signs just can't seem to stand up to the job.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A happy birthday song for everyone

Today is my country's birthday. What better day to re-play this great video.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Green Victorian

Prescott, Arizona is known for its Victorian houses. Most of them are located along both sides of Mount Vernon street. But I found this two-story green beauty a street or two away the other day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

O Canada

On Canada Day, Canadians celebrate the day the British North America Act created the Canadian federal government on July 1, 1867. This date was originally celebrated as Dominion Day up until the year 1982, when an Act of Parliament changed it to Canada Day.

I grew up in North Dakota, only about 50 miles from the border with Saskatchewan, Canada. I remember many happy trips as a boy to Lake Carlyle, where my dad would enjoy pulling big "northerns" (Northern Pike) and Walleyes out. Frequently evening meals would be fresh fried fish with lots of butter and lemon.

I always enjoyed adventures in the woods, sliding down the cliffs to the beaches and above all the candy. Maple sugar candy in the shape of maple leaves that could make your teeth start aching just by looking at it in the stores. And best of all those delicious Cadbury chocolates. It's been over 20 years since I last visited Canada and many decades longer than that since I was last at Lake Carlyle. But I still miss it. Great memories of a great place.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mag 20

The Toothbrush

The toothbrush lay innocently on the mottled floor. It’s bristles were only slightly worn, as if it had not been used much to clean the teeth of its owner. Yet they were stained a dirty gray color, as if by repeated exposure to water not as clean or pure as it could have been.

The brown handle resembled quartz with the light from the window reflecting from it and penetrating it as well. That light coming through the handle left a golden brown glow on the floor’s surface. It was beautiful, somehow, resembling as it did an item of antiquity, a treasure from a much older civilization.

In a different setting one could even imagine the toothbrush as a wonderful exhibit in a museum case. Perhaps it had once whitened the teeth of a famous scientist or an artist or even a head of state.

But there was no such dignitary.

No such case.

No such museum.

You see, the other end of the toothbrush – the handle – had been drawn over time through the bars that covered the window in this room . . . this cell. Over months of the same repeated action, first one side of the handle, then the other, the material had been worn away until the handle culminated in a point as sharp as any dagger.

This end of the brush was now a different color. It was red with the blood of its victim. He was . . or had been . . a guard in this prison until the owner of the brush, maddened by years of confinement and cruelty, had plunged the sharp edge into the man’s throat, killing him in an instant.

The assailant sat quietly in his cell, waiting.

He had already been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

He had nothing left.

Not even a toothbrush.


As you might expect, this is but a piece of fiction, part of a weekly writing exercise instituted by Willow, of Willow Manor. You can read other works by other writers at Magpie Tales.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Festival Time

It is festival time in Arizona. SWMBO and I traveled in to Prescott today to spend some time at the 29th annual Prescott Bluegrass Festival. Good music.

The festival was held on the courthouse square in the heart of town and a good crowd was on hand.

As is common at such events, there was a plethora of dogs in attendance.

This big fellow was very calm and sat quietly by his master, looking on with interest but barely twitching when other dogs big and small walked by.

Just across the walk, this much smaller fellow couldn't stop his tag from wagging.

There were even a couple of "hot dogs" in attendance. The girl runs a hot dog shop on the square and was trying to drum up some business.

And to top off a juicy hot dog, what is better than some delicious ice cream.

As is common in Prescott some costumed people were in attendance. This pair was selling raffle tickets.

And a couple of young lads had freshly drawn-on eyeglasses from a nearby shop.

At any festival in summertime Arizona, one can see an amazing collection of tee shirts. But this one was my favorite!

I hope you're attending a festival in your neighborhood this summer!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Roses and roses and roses

(Note: the photos are more stunningly beautiful when one clicks on them to expand the view.)

Alas, my camera and I have been neglecting SWMBO's roses this year. I have waited nearly too long to photograph them. But still . . .

The yellow and white ones are suffering in the hot sun without rain.

But, I am told, while they may die out . . they will bloom again, bringing color and joy to our lives.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

He's My Man

This is sort of an apology. You see, SWMBO had ordered "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man" from Netflix. It came a couple of weeks ago and has been lying around the house ever since. Tonight she finally got around to watching it and then brought it to me and asked if I wanted to see it.

I said rather vehemently "I don't think so. I can't stand Leonard Cohen. He sings atonally and I don't care for his poetry."

SWMBO said "O.K. Do what you want but just don't say anything more to me about it because I loved it."

Well, I said I might take a look.

May some higher power or another strike me dead. I just watched the whole program and I, too, loved it.

It's a tribute to Cohen and his work and features performances by a group of artists performing his work one evening at the Sydney Opera House. I particularly enjoyed Rufus Wainright (who could be played by Johnny Depp), his sister Martha, Nick Cave, Perla Battala and Jarvis Cocker. Mixed throughout are segments from interviews done with Cohen. The documentary ends with Cohen singing (sort of) his "The Tower of Song" backed by the boys from U2.

It's a great "show" and I recommend it highly. Rent it. Watch it. Enjoy it.

And I take back everything snide I ever said about Leonard Cohen.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weird night lights

Wow! Take a look at this!

I was trying to take a picture of the lights over our arbor last night but I couldn't hold the camera still enough, apparently. It made for some interesting photos.

Here's a look at what the lights look more like. I don't know how I got this one.

The light comes from a rope light.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Riordan Mansion

In 1904 two brothers, who had taken over a lumber mill in Flagstaff, Arizona, had a mansion built for their two families. One family lived in one house, the other in the other. But the homes were joined and very modern for their time. Here are some photos of them from a tour SWMBO and I took recently. The homes are now the center of a state historical park.

For the two young men with a lumber mill, they had an ample supply of wood for building material. But they also used native stone.

Of particular interest were the stained glass sections of various windows.

Photographs are not allowed inside but if you're ever in the area a tour of the mansion is highly recommended.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mag 18

British haiku

Pencils are sharpened,
Edward is gone – George is King,
so what is the point?
Read more at Magpie Tales.

Keeping an eye on things

Not one, but two ravens perched up high, talking and watching.