Thursday, September 9, 2010


I was out in the back yard checking on my tomatoes yesterday when I spotted a praying mantis and went to grab the camera.

I noticed what I thought to be a grasshopper clinging to her back and tried to remove it with a blade of grass. That didn't work so I continued snapping pictures.

The mantis maneuvered around the grasses and plant stems and finally got to the fence, where she continued to climb. When I got the photos uploaded to my computer I discovered, to my embarrassment, that the passenger was . . . er . . . rather firmly attached and that the twosome apparently had been caught in flagrante delicto.

All I can say by apology is "Oops!" Sorry, I'm a city boy.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

For your holiday weekend?

A friend in California sent me this photo from Morro Bay.

I guess it's lucky I quit drinking before I got there!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New arrival

Many years ago, before e-mail, there was something called a "telegram". When I was born in North Dakota in 1940, my father sent a telegram to his brother in San Francisco to make the announcement. Like with another long past mode of communication . . "cablegrams" . . apparently the price of the "gram" was based on the number of words in it. Therefore, brevity was valued.

I was going through a file today and ran across the telegram my father sent about my birth. Brevity, yes, but wit too.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My girls

Everyone knows that a cat will adopt a box. Any box. And the cat will adapt to the size and the shape of the box. Jazz has adopted this shallow box.

She has fallen in love with this box and spends hours every day curled up in it.

Then, there's another thing about cats. They seem to inherently know . . . what they look best on. They seek out a fabric, a color, a texture and seem most comfortable posing on it. Muggles has taken to this chair.

Does she look happy or not?

I think you can see why I love my girls.

Monday, August 23, 2010

More monsoon clouds . . and a surprise!

I just can't resist photographing these wonderful clouds.

(They're more impressive if you click on the photos)

But I didn't notice the visitor in this scene until after I looked at the photos on my computer.

Here's a closer look.

It's a helicopter!

If he noticed me, he probably think's I'M a spy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I'll leave a light on for ya'!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baking Day!

Mmmmm, look what I discovered when I came home!

SWMBO has been busy in the kitchen. That's an apple tart and mini-blueberry muffins. Yummy!

She's taking a nap right now and I could sneak a taste but I won't.

Someone already has!

Monsoon clouds

(They're bigger and better if you click on them)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The beginning

I received some unexpected photographs this week from a friend of my family. I hadn't seen anyone from that family since they moved to California back in 1953. That was the year my mother died at an early age. I decided to post several of the photos.

This is my mother. SWMBO says her hair was probably done with a "finger wave."

A little later . . . 1940 . . . I came on the scene.

At the age of 2, I was a plump young boy. Now I'm 70 and after decades of skinniness I'm . . . more than a little plump again.

I was interested to see that I had an affection for the feline, even way back then.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mag 27

The esteemed Willow, of Willow Manor, tweaks our minds every week with a photo prompt. She invites her readers to write a poem, an essay or a story based on the photo. Here is this week's photo.

They had been married nearly 60 years. Walter and Agnes had been young at heart when they wed. It was 1952.

Many things happened that year of their marriage.

A pretty young English woman became Queen Elizabeth II when her father died.

In the United States a former general, Dwight Eisenhower, was elected president.

"The Diary of Anne Frank" was published.

In Argentina, Eva Peron died of cancer at the age of 33.

Television debuted in Canada.

Jimmy Boyd’s recording of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" was released.

During the many years of their marriage, history continued to be made as well as the passage of thousands of sillier events.

Walter and Agnes had their losses over the years. They had never had children but had suffered the loss of their parents.

Walter thought of all these things as he struggled to turn the wrench on the old water pipes in the basement. He stopped for a moment, staring at the rust around the pipe fittings.

"That’s what I am," he thought. "Full of rust."

He put the wrench down and walked slowly up the stairs, feeling the aches in his joints with every step. He went into the living room, where Agnes sat reading a book. He bent over and kissed her cheek.

She looked up, surprised, and asked "what was that for?"

Walter smiled and said "for the rust."


I invite you to visit Magpie Tales to read the submissions of other writers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A-way out west . . .

A-way out West . . . where only the power lines interrupt the landscape.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Who do I write like?

I was reading one of my favorite bloggers this morning - Jerry at Gently Said and he intrigued me with an exercise to determine who one writes like. He got the tip from another blogger who mentioned a site called "I Write Like". You can find it here. You submit a piece of your writing and hit the "Analyze" button and in seconds the program tells you who your writing resembles. Jerry's experiments produced Isaac Asimov and James Joyce. Not a bad couple of scribblers.

Well! What egotist in his garret could resist this?

So I submitted my latest Magpie Tale. I expected it would tell me my writing resembled some English writer - Chesterton or Conan Doyle or someone of that ilk. But the program said it was Raymond Chandler! Still not so bad. Hmmmm (sez I), let me try another piece. This time it came up with Harry Harrison. Now I'm not a sci-fi or fantasy enthusiast so I've never read any of his work but I knew the name. Well, let's try a third piece. This time I got Stephen King.

Now I didn't . . . like many other submitters . . . draw a James Joyce but still, those aren't bad writers to be compared with. (I wonder how many of them perpetually end sentences with prepositions!)

Hey! I've got an idea. I'm going to try submitting this blog post and see what the program says. Hang on.

Well . . . I'll be darned. Cory Doctorow. The Canadian blogger, journalist and science fiction writer. (I had to go to Google to learn this.)

It seems everyone writes like someone famous. I like this program.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mag 26

"Drowned? Drowned, you say"

"Yes, inspector, we found 'im lyin' there dead. Blue as one of 'em Blue Men from Las Vegas, over in the colonies."

"And since it hasn't rained for a fortnight and the swimming pool is bone dry, how do you suppose he drowned?"

"Well, see, inspector, we figures he was held down on his back and water was poured into his mouth while his nose was held until . . well, until he drowned."

"And the water came from where? I don't see a hose anywhere."

"Inspector, we suspect they used that 'ere waterin' can."

"Ah, I see. And this happened when?"

"The fellow was seen at his pub last night at closin' time so it was after that."

"Yes, and the pub closed at an hour before midnight and it is now half past eight in the morning. So it was within the last 8 hours, correct?"

"That's right, inspector. Pretty smart of us to figger it out, wa'nt it?"

"Except for one thing, Dee-tect-ive."

"What's 'at, sir?"

"The plants growing through the handle of the watering can. And IT HASN'T RAINED FOR A FORTNIGHT!!! I think you'd better do some more investigating."


Oh, that damned Poirot, he's always so smart. Or it could have been Holmes. Or Dalgliesh. Well, anyway, this was only an exercise, prompted by the fiendish Willow with her photo prompt (obviously from some place where it actually rains.) You can read more offerings at Magpie Tales. Meantime, the inspector will try to figure this one out.

Dog Days?????

Who ever said they had to be called the DOG days???

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Steve & I - bearded and not

I made an excursion down to Phoenix last night to take in an Arizona Diamondbacks game with my buddie, Steve. (The D-backs won 6 to 1 over the Washington Nationals.) But I was stuck by our changing appearances. Steve and I, that is.

You see, for many years, Steve had a full beard. A few years ago he looked like this.

Looks happy, doesn't he?

At roughly the same time, I looked like this.

Hmmm, I appear concerned, don't I?

Well, as I have said, times change. This is how Steve and I looked last night at the ball park.

Steve appears unsettled while I appear to be proud of my foliage. (Even though it's white.)

I think Steve needs to grow his beard back again. He says he doesn't think he will. That may have something to do with his wife telling him he looks younger bare-faced.

As for my hirsute appearance, I say I'm modeling myself after the late Jerry Garcia.

'Course, he had better hair than I do. But he's dead, too!

Anyway, here's my goal.

Yeah! Z.Z. Top! I have the dark glasses already. I don't know about that cap, though.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More from Jerome

I have some more pictures of Jerome today, courtesy of my friend who toured the town with me recently. From the first two, you can see some of the old charm of a once-abandoned mining town.

(Click on photos to expand)

This is an old movie projector from a former theatre, now a museum.

Betty Boop is very big in town.

And Catalyst, with an old friend from the late 50's.

(All photos courtesy T. Decker Cochrun)

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Some photos from last Monday's visit to Jerome.
(Click on them to expand)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rain, blessed rain

Yes, there was rain in those clouds. And it's been falling steadily but lightly now for a day or more.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Most of the time, it's just a light sprinkle . . a mist, actually. But sometimes the moisture builds up in the clouds and it comes down in a torrent.

However - - it is a blessing for our parched, dry Arizona. Yes, there is occasional flooding but if people are careful that usually doesn't cause problems.

The plants are thriving and pleased at their long-awaited drink.
P.S. - In case you come under the same confusion as SWMBO, that second photo is NOT of a marijuana crop in our backyard. It's bamboo!