Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big Bucks!

I noted the other night that one of the two winners of a 380 million dollar jackpot in the lottery game Mega Millions bought his/her ticket in Post Falls, Idaho.  I happen to know someone from that town, up there between Washington and Montana.  I just sent the person an e-mail saying I hoped it was theirs.

Tonight on television the other winner, a man from Washington state not far from Post Falls, was shown after he came in with his wife to claim his 190 million dollar prize.  He told how he had come in to the bedroom, wakened his wife and showed her the winning numbers and his winning ticket.  He said it would last for generations because "we're not going to blow this!"

I have dreamed for years about "winning the big one".  Quite a while back, we won around $1,200 in a lottery game right before Christmas.  I don't remember what we did with the money but it certainly made that year's Christmas bills go away.  Incidentally, we've probably spent that 12 c-notes on more lottery tickets with never a big winner.  $3, $4, $7 . . that's about our take and lots and lots of losing tickets. 

SWMBO and I have seriously thought for a long time how we would handle a super big money win in one of those games.  Of course, our heirs would be well-fixed, probably even the ones that rarely speak to us.  You just know the phone would start to ring more regularly.  We used to travel quite a bit and, hopefully, we would do much more of that.  But, we're pretty well fixed with "things".  So, other than a new car, a new place to live and . . and . . and . .    Well?  What would we do with all that money?

But as the commercials say - "You can't win if you don't play."


update: My acquaintance in Idaho has just e-mailed back to say he didn't win.  He said when he went in to the office to claim his share of the big prize he was told he had to buy a ticket to win.  As he put it: "Details, details."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cold Lake Watson


No kayaks on the lake today.

But if you click on these photos to magnify them, you will see quite a few ducks enjoying nice cool swimming weather.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Maverick changes

I was driving past a gas station/convenience store today and noticed the sign: Maverik.

I guess I'm like most everybody else.  Whenever I hear that word, no matter how it's spelled, I think of one thing: John McCain.

There was a time, in 2000 and again in 2008, when McCain claimed that title.  I think the news media first branded him with it but McCain took it on proudly.  Now . . . he says he never was a maverick.  Huh?

Of course, McCain spent part of his early adulthood bombing the Vietnamese.  Then, after being shot down, he spent quite a few years being mistreated as a prisoner of war.  Now?  Hugs.

Speaking of which, McCain has become quite a hugger.  Here he is with Rudy Giuliani.

And George W. Bush.

And his Independent but mostly Democrat pal Joe Lieberman.

And, of course, his running mate in 2008, loony Sarah Palin.

Even the guy who trounced him in the 2008 election, President Barack Obama.

So, what became of John McCain?  The Maverick?  The lovable hugger?  Well it's a mystery to most everyone but he still seems bitter about losing the presidency.  Twice, if you count Bush knocking him out in the primaries in 2000.  He seems to do nearly nothing except oppose everything Obama proposes.  Many people have said he just seems like a bitter old man.  In short, he has become this:

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3rd

I've been quiet since my burst around the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.  There's nothing wrong.  I just haven't been inspired.  Watching a lot of football on television, including tonight's stunning trouncing of Virginia Tech by Stanford at the Orange Bowl.  I had an uncle once who spent time at Stanford, actually living in Herbert Hoover's house for a time, snitching oranges from his tree outside an upper floor window.  I saw that Condoleeza Rice made it to the game, as she did when the Stanford women's basketball team ended Connecticut's run at 90 victories.  Guess she needs a little face time these days. 

I'm presently reading "The Last Stand" by Pulitzer finalist Nathaniel Philbrick about the campaign that led up to Sitting Bull's decisive victory over George Armstrong Custer and his troops.  It all took place in southeastern Montana, not too far from where I was born and spent my first 29 years in the Dakotas.  Good book.  If you like histories of the West.  The Indians win . . . for a time.

So . . . enough until another day and some more inspiration.

Oh, almost forgot.  It's warming a bit.  Temperature rose to 40 today under sunny skies.  It will get slightly warmer throughout the week.  And that makes me glad!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Yet another year

Made it.  Again.

The eve was quiet.  I was fiddling with my computer.  Didn't even watch the ball come down in New York.  Tuned in for a moment earlier and got sick of Anderson Cooper and that horrid woman they team him with so turned to PBS and a program of piano music featuring Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic.  Much more peaceful.

To bed long before midnight and a good sleep.

It is very cold outside.  21 degrees in the early afternoon.  Got down to 3 below zero last night.  But . . it's a new year and the sun is shining.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

SWMBO was spectacular with a simple dinner.  An Alsatian onion tart and a salad of field greens and tangerine with raspberry vinaigrette.

 Accompanied with a glass (or two) of Prosecco.

Snow in Arizona at the end of 2010

Now, here is video proof of the snow that fell December 30th, 2010, outside my home in Prescott Valley, ARIZONA!


How to get from 2010 to 2011

There are a variety of ways to get through the turning of the calendar page from one year to the next.  One can go out, have a good (or worse) meal in a restaurant, drink copious quantities of champagne with friends (or complete strangers), dance, toot on paper horns while wearing paper hats, or . . . . you can do it like three "members of my family" do it.

May I present Muggles.

and Jazz.

and Blackwell.

And one more of Muggles.  Not because I love her any more than the other two.  It's just that she seems to be the most expressive sleeper.

From the three of them, from SWMBO (who is napping in another room) and from me - may you all have a most happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

December 31, 2010

2010 is going out like an iceberg in Arizona.  Here's a photo of Glassford Hill I took within the last hour.

I had to go down to the corner store and it was c-o-l-d!  How cold was it?  Here's the reading (in Fahrenheit) from my indoor/outdoor thermometer at 11 o'clock in the morning.

Needless to say, I will not be venturing out again until Monday, when the outside temperature should be up in the 30's, at least.  I mean, take a look at the sun.

So much for warm, sunny Arizona, huh?  Ah well, as we always say, this, too, shall pass.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Blackwell looks out the window this morning and says . . . WTF?

A little later, the sky darkens, the snow begins again and the wind picks up.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The beginning . . . and Tombo!

The storm that moved through California yesterday has arrived in my area - Arizona - today.  Mostly rain mixed with snow at my location but considerably sloppier in Prescott where more of the snow was sticking.  Out here in Prescott Valley, there was what the weather people are calling "snow mist" this afternoon.  Looks an awful lot like fog to me.

The snow is expected to continue tonight and tomorrow and colder temperatures should mean it will start piling up.


I almost forgot to mention that I had lunch with the irrepressible TOMBO today . . he of Tombo's Blog and also of widespread travel.  Tombo is a Prescott, Arizona born-and-bred native who has decided to see a bit of the world.  He's recently returned from an amazing trip that took him to San Diego, all the way up the coast to Seattle, across the gut of the country to Wisconsin, NEW YORK CITY, Massachusetts, down the East Coast to Charleston, Key West, then back west to New Orleans and (new favorite) Lafayette (that's Lah-Fay-Et), Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico and eventually back to Prescott for Christmas.  But he won't stay long, he says.  Soon it's back on the road with his faithful companion, Scrappy Doo, to bigger and better horizons.

It was neat to see the well-bearded lad and hear of his adventures.  It makes a white-bearded old-timer like me a bit envious but glad he's doing what I only talked about many decades ago.

Travel well, Tombo.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The lull before the storm

Lots of sunshine . . . blue skies . . .

. . . but wait!
That nasty old man winter is supposed to come storming through our area beginning tomorrow and dumping lots and lots of snow.

We'll see.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

One from the sun

The northeastern U.S. is getting snowed in for awhile so here's a little something to help ease you through the day.  At least until five o'clock.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A foggy day . . .

Prescott Valley was blanketed with fog this morning.

Some birds seemed confused . . .

Homes were shrouded in a ghostly vapor . . .

A football field was abandoned . . .

But eventually the sun began to burn off the fog and the mountains became visible . . .

Santa will be able to find his way tonight!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Welcome, new blogger!

There's a new writer on the horizon.  My long-time friend, Tom Cochrun, has started a blog: Light Breezes from his redoubt on the Central California coast.  He's a talented boy*.  Check him out.

* - He's been my friend for over 40 years so I guess the term "boy" may be questionable . . for him or for me.  But I won't hedge on the other term - "talented".

It's not the Alps, but . . .

It's all I've got.  Fresh snow on our Black Hills/Mingus Mountain.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New construction

Everywhere I've been this holiday season, store owners and employees respond to my question - "how's business?" - with positive answers.  They say people are coming in, shopping and buying.  Maybe the economy finally is turning around.

Out in my neighborhood, construction has begun on a U.S. 89-A bridge over Viewpoint Road.  It's only been a couple of days and the project is expected to last until next October but at least there are signs of movement.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The face of a loser

The U.S. Senate approved a cloture motion today that will lead to approval of the Start 2 treaty with Russia.  I'm ashamed to say that the state I live in produced the Republican Senator who continues to oppose the treaty.

Arizona U.S. Senator Jon Kyl

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A great Saturday

SWMBO and I made a day trip down to the big city today.  We met our granddaughter, Christina, at the Chinese Cultural Center.  (No, she's not Chinese . . it was just a convenient meeting place that she wanted to see and we had been there before and knew where it was.)  We watched some martial arts demonstrations, did a little grazing through a store jammed full of Chinese tchotchkes, then spent some time in the humongous Ranch Market, which is full of all kind of Asian food items.  She loved it and left with a bottle of sake and some other things.

Then it was on to Christopher's fine French restaurant at the Biltmore Shopping Plaza for a great lunch.  This is our granddaughter, Christina, who . . . when we first saw her today in her black trenchcoat, high heels and big sunglasses, looked like a New York model.

 And (I know I'll get in trouble for this sneaked shot) her grandmother, the legendary and rarely photographed SWMBO.

Yes, we really were at the Biltmore Plaza.

That Christmas tree, by the way, is made of poinsettia plants.

And the plant pots are stocked with . . . well . . . maybe not Christmas flowers . . . or are they?

We capped the day with a visit to Trader Joe's.  Christina's first time there and she loved it.  Even the "two buck Chuck", which is now $2.99 Chuck . . . or better yet, "Three Buck Chuck."

(I love the holidays!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

The pressure is on

One week from tomorrow is Chri$tma$ Day.  The time is running short for procrastinators.  They'll be chewing their nails, pulling out their hair, trying to imagine what could possibly be the best gift for those they love.  I used to be like that.  But I have reached an age that allows me to lean back, relax, ask my significant other what she wants for Chri$tma$, then go with her to a store, pick out the gift together, pay for it and hand it to her.  End of story.  End of stress.  End of shopping.

She asked me what I wanted.  I said an I-Pad would be nice.  But I don't really want that and I told her so.  I have enough trouble getting away from my computer as it is.  To have one small and portable enough to go everywhere with me?  It would drive me crazy.

I always ask her for something unattainable, like a Lamborghini or a Maserati.  But I'm not sure I could get in or out of either one of them nowadays.  I went to a drive-in pharmacy the other day driving our 1988 Dodge Neon.  The drawer, the window, the credit card slot, the girl talking to me from behind the glass - - all were far above me.  Apparently access was designed for those driving huge SUV's.  So if I had a Lamborghini or a Maserati, the attendant probably wouldn't even know I was there.

My first two whimsical wishes having been disposed of, I said "I don't really want anything.  I've got everything I want."  That got a negative sneer.

So I fell back on an old favorite - "World Peace".

Yeah, a lot of hope for that one.